Congressman Jared Huffman

Representing the 2nd District of California

Rep. Huffman Brings Jason and Yeganeh Rezaian to President’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress

Feb 28, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) brought Marin native Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Rezaian, as his guests to President Trump’s address tonight to a Joint Session of Congress.

Last year, Rep. Huffman brought Ali Rezaian, Jason’s brother, as his guest to President Obama’s final State of the Union address in order to raise international awareness of Jason’s wrongful detention in an Iranian prison and the urgent need to secure his release. At the time, Huffman stated: “I am optimistic that Jason’s freedom can be secured in the weeks ahead, and my hope is that next year Jason himself will be my guest at the State of the Union Address.” Jason was released from the Evin Prison just six days after President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address.

On his decision to bring Jason and Yeganeh Rezaian as his honored guests to this year’s presidential address, Representative Huffman released the following statement:

“It’s hard to believe that it has been just a year since we celebrated the return of Jason Rezaian to freedom after his unjust detention for more than 500 days for the ‘crime’ of being a journalist in Iran.

“This year, I am so proud to announce that Jason and Yeganeh Rezaian are attending the president’s speech as my honored guests, fulfilling a promise I made to their family, and giving us another opportunity to celebrate their freedom.

“Jason and Yeganeh are here at the U.S. Capitol at an important moment in our country’s history, when many of the Constitutional guarantees that make America truly great — including the freedom of the press, religious freedom, and equal protection under the law — are under unprecedented attack from the White House.

“After eighteenth months of effort, and with the support of literally tens of thousands of people around the world, Jason is free from Iranian prison. Yet in a terrible irony, his family has now been caught up in President Trump’s reckless immigration orders, and his profession of journalism, for which he was jailed in Iran, has been described by the President of the United States as ‘the enemy of the American People.’

“Jason and his family exemplify the best of what America has to offer the world, and their presence at tonight’s address serves as a reminder of the important American ideals that are today under attack.”

During the President’s address, Congressman Jared Huffman led many members of Congress in wearing a “question mark” button on his lapel, signifying all of the unanswered questions for the White House that Congress should be pursuing, including:

  • What did the President know and when did he know it regarding his transition team’s contacts with Russia?
  • What is President Trump hiding in his tax returns?
  • What are President Trump’s plans on jobs, infrastructure, immigration, and health care?
  • Why has the President been so slow to react to the wave of anti-Semitic threats and actions, and the hate incidents and violence targeting immigrants in Kansas and elsewhere?